Gladstone Hotel Room

An installation conceived as a cross-section through the primary planes of the building, represented in two “wrapping” architectural expressions that are an organizational device for all the programmatic requirements of a hotel room.

411 Offset is an installation in Room 411 at the Gladstone Hotel representing a cross-section through the primary planes of the building ¬- walls, ceiling, and floor ¬- in two “wrapping” architectural expressions that are an organizational device for the requirements of a hotel room. An element of skeletal construction echoes the structural framework of the room and wraps vertically around the space, supporting a floating bed plane, side tables and desk surface. Another plane wraps horizontally about the walls in the form of a continuous strip of light, referencing a horizontal solid portion of the window. Combined, these two elements integrate all the programmatic components of the room, floating within the existing restored Victorian shell.

Held as a competition in January 2005 by the Gladstone Hotel, the ‘Artist Designed Hotel Rooms’ were intended to rejuvenate the 117 year old historic hotel, promote local art and revive the Queen Street West arts community. The goal of 411 Offset was to maintain the conditions inherited while working with a limited material palette and minimal but bold architectural moves that reference the building in an attempt to highlight the old against the new, in a classic, timeless way. New built components were designed to reference the existing built components in such a way that the intervention becomes complementary and harmonious, where the new showcases the old, in the process of showcasing itself. One of two bold moves involves exposing the basic structure of the room through a skeletal representation of its walls, ceiling, and floor. The structure or section of the room becomes “offset” within the space of the hotel room creating, in a sense, a room within a room. Integrated within this “offset’ structure are all the main furniture requirements for the room. The light feature, or horizontal wrapping plane, becomes both an architectural and atmospheric element within the space of the room. This single integrated lighting strip functions as general lighting for the room or can be varied for task lighting with separate controls. The intensity for the artificial light was selected such that it would neutralize around mid-afternoon (as natural light floods the room)?. This allows for soft, diffuse light throughout the day and permits the artificial light to co-exist with the natural light.

Contemporary versions of classic materials compliment the existing palette: parallel strand lumber, white lacquered plywood, and acrylic replace solid wood and glass. Each of the walls of the room is painted in a different subtle shade of white, yet it is so subtle that the viewer is initiated into this movement without “seeing” it. This is revealed, eventually, to the hotel guest who stays just long enough to witness the rise and fall of daylight. The use of this material palette combined with the integration of all elements of the program into two bold moves creates a clean, uncluttered design that allows a rather small, 210 s.f. hotel room appear quite light and spacious. Every element has a relationship to the physical parameters of the hotel room, from the lighting and furniture elements down to the mirrors, bed cover and even garbage bin, all of which reflect a physical measure of the architectural space itself.

  • Canadian Interiors Awards
    Best of Canada
  • NOW Magazine Best of Toronto
  •, “Architecture News: Letter from Canada”
  • Canadian Interiors Magazine, “Best of Canada”
  • Applied Arts Magazine, “One of a Kind Hotel”
  • ESPACE, “411 Offset”
  • 401 Richmond Update, “Beautiful Little Moments”
  • The Globe & Mail, “Talk of the Town – Gladstone Hotel”
  • Canadian Architect Magazine, “Checking In”
  • Metropolitan Home, “Metro – Gladstone Hotel”
  • 401 Richmond Update, “Making Room at the Gladstone Hotel”
  • NOW Magazine, “Best of Toronto – Best Art & Design”

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